Fun and Free Activities for People and Pets

I’ve heard it said (and said it myself): a bored pet can be a destructive pet. Many animals are happiest when they have a job, be it herding sheep or performing tricks. But if your pet isn’t “employed” you can still keep him or her entertained. The best part is that it doesn’t have to cost a penny. Here are some fun, free activities for you and your pets! Grooming. Many pets like being brushed — it’s just a matter of finding the right brush and the right spot. My dog Moose, for example, is happy with any brush on … Continue reading

Taking Compliments for Pets

Sometimes, I feel a little weird if someone tells me I have a beautiful dog. I usually say “thank you” but to be honest, I had nothing to do with it. Though I think of myself as a pet parent, I didn’t actually contribute anything to the creation of my handsome Moose man or my lovely Lally Bee. (People often stop me to ask what she is, because she is a unique looking little boxer/shar-pei cross.) Maybe part of the problem is that I’m not good at accepting compliments for myself. Someone tells me something nice, and I immediately try … Continue reading

A Cat Can Lower Your Heart Attack Risk

As if we didn’t love our pets enough — here’s another reason to cuddle your kitty! A ten year study from the University of Minnesota suggests that having a cat for a pet can cut your heart attack risk by nearly a third! More than four thousand Americans between the ages of thirty and seventy-five were tracked between 1976 and 1980 for a National Health and Nutrition Examination Study. The University of Minnesota team looked at the data, then spent a decade following up with the participants to look at health issues and death rates. More than half the people … Continue reading

About the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship

If you had your eye on Animal Planet over the weekend, you probably saw the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship broadcast. I only managed to catch the “tail” end of the show, but I did get to see the lovely German shepherd win the working dog group and the Best in Show awarded to a Sealyham terrier with lots of personality. Here are some things you might not know about the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship: The AKC (American Kennel Club) is the oldest and only not-for-profit purebred dog registry in the United States. The AKC/Eukanuba National Championship is by invitation only. The top … Continue reading

Being a Responsible Dog Owner

Today is Responsible Dog Ownership Day, which I believe was started by the American Kennel Club. If you live in or near New York City or Raleigh, North Carolina you might already be aware of the AKC events schedule there today. But those won’t be the only ones. According to the AKC website, last year over 350 clubs and organizations held Responsible Dog Ownership Day events. The AKC has a link on their website where you can select your state to find events near you. The purpose is to educate pet parents on all manner of thing with events like: … Continue reading

Aggression at Home: Handling

Being a canine good citizen starts at home. So if your dog growls at or snaps at a family member, it will help you to figure out why. Many dogs threaten family members for two reasons: the dog may be guarding something or may not want to be handled in a particular way. For example, my dog Miko always growled at a particular friend of mine. She would try to pet him, and he would growl every time. The problem was that she was trying to pet Miko on the top of his head — and he didn’t like that. … Continue reading

Training Your Dog to Be a Therapy Dog

Training your dog to be a certified therapy dog is not only a great way to bond but also a great way to help people in your community! Therapy Dogs International was founded in 1976 in my own state of New Jersey, but you can find therapy dogs and handlers in all 50 states and Canada. TDI is a volunteer organization that helps regulate, test, and register therapy dogs and their handlers. The therapy dogs are purebred or mixed, and can visit nursing homes, hospitals, and other institutions. To become a therapy dog, your dog must pass all the requirements … Continue reading